The cities of Delaware and Westerville will benefit from technical assistance provided by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.
The insight2050 Technical Assistance Program, funded through MORPC’s Federal Surface Transportation Program, provides its staff assistance to local government members within the transportation planning area of Delaware and Franklin counties, Bloom and Violet townships in Fairfield County, New Albany, Pataskala and Etna Township in Licking County, and Jerome Township in Union County.
“The insight2050 analysis shows how a focused approach to growth benefits Central Ohio residents, their local governments, and the environment through context-sensitive infill and redevelopment opportunities and expanded transportation options,” said Kerstin Carr, MORPC’s director of planning & environment. “With the TA Program, MORPC will provide staff assistance to its member communities as they develop plans and policies that allow them to achieve more of those benefits, including a reduction in vehicle miles traveled and enhanced economic competitiveness.”
Delaware City Council approved the application in July. City staff will use MORPC expertise to research, review and develop a complete streets policy.
Such a policy would address issues about several different forms of transportation, and how these alternate forms of transportation are best accommodated through policy, land development regulations, and capital planning, according to a city-prepared fact sheet. Examples of such projects include designated bikeways, bicycle lanes, accessible streets and intersection improvements and bike parking.
Delaware officials will work with MORPC staff for about one year to develop the policy, while saving about $15,000 to $20,000, city spokesman Lee Yoakum said.
MORPC also awarded technical assistance to the City of Westerville’s Brooksedge Office Park Redevelopment Plan. According to a press release from MORPC, Brooksedge is one of the strategic locations for smart growth identified in the 2017 Westerville Community Plan.
With over 200 acres, the buildings and sites are underutilized yet access to Interstate 270, South State Street, existing public transit, and the existing historic rail right-of-way make this an opportune location for “suburban retrofit.”
Brooksedge is prime for mixed-use development, according to MORPC. The development would create a live-work community that would attract employers and employees alike, while reducing vehicular trips and providing opportunities for alternative means of transportation.